Katherine Hughes

Principal Researcher

Katherine Hughes is a principal researcher in the Research and Evaluation division of AIR. She has extensive experience in qualitative research; leading and managing large, multi-component research projects; and writing for and presenting to varied audiences. Her work has addressed the high school-to-college transition, college readiness, dual enrollment, career and technical education, community college reforms, and two-to-four-year college transfer, among other areas. 

Dr. Hughes serves as the principal investigator for Expanding the Evidence Base for Career and Technical Education (CTE) – Research Network Lead, a five-year initiative funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education.

Read our Q&A with Katherine Hughes about the importance of career and technical education

Prior to working at AIR, Dr. Hughes was project director for Technical Assistance for Advancing Equity in Career and Technical Education, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and awarded to Manhattan Strategy Group (MSG). Before that, Hughes was Executive Director, Community College and Higher Education Initiatives, at the College Board. In that position, she worked to strengthen the College Board’s services to and support of community colleges and their students. Hughes was also the Assistant Director for Work and Education Reform Research at the Community College Research Center (CCRC), the leading independent authority on the nation’s two-year colleges, located at Columbia University. While at CCRC, one of her roles was as assistant director of the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR), awarded to CCRC by IES.

Hughes has published results from her work in a range of periodicals including Journal of College Student Retention, Community College Review, Teachers College Record, Techniques, and Phi Delta Kappan, and she co-authored the book Working Knowledge: Work-Based Learning and Education Reform.

Katherine Hughes

Ph.D., M.A., and B.A., Sociology, Columbia University